I almost decided not to write an entry using the accompanying photos, but since I am trying to “keep it real”, I knew I had to talk about how important the good WiFi at the marina has been to all of us. We have put almost all of our business accounts online, we have ordered and ordered...and ordered from Amazon Prime online, etc., etc., etc. We all know we will not have WiFi when we are on passages and readily accept that.
In the two photos that look remarkably similar, you see Dito editing videos he has filmed, matching music to his videos, and writing the book he is working on in his “free” time. You see Dave writing HTML, paying bills, and managing his network of websites. You see Sarah working on her lesson plans for Zoe’s second-grade curriculum, updating the maxingout.com web site, and writing her own material for posting on the website. You see me writing my daily blog entries about where we are and what is happening onboard the boat, searching out word lists and phonics patterns for J,s Kinder-Grade 1 curriculum, and using instructional websites to practice Spanish.
When we did our circumnavigation, we did not have computers or mobile phones at the beginning of the trip. Our kids were doing correspondence high school classes and we actually sent their lessons to the school through the mail. I think one of the things I am most looking forward to on this trip is seeing how much world cruising has changed. I realize how much I enjoy the new technologies I have learned to use, but I hope to use them to share our trip with anyone who would like to read my blog and “come along with us” on our family adventure. I promise not to keep saying, “I remember when...”!
Sarah read online that replicas of Columbus’ ships, the Niña and Pinta, were coming to the main dock in Jupiter, Florida, today. The ships would be on display and tours of the main deck would be given by the crew. The crew is made up of volunteers from all over the United States and the Caribbean. The ships have no home port because they are on the move 11 months each year.
A British maritime historian started building the replica of the Niña in Brazil in 1988. Using original design and construction techniques (hand adzes, axes, hand saws, and chisels), it took 32 months for 20 men to complete the project. The Niña was 65’ long and 18’ wide. She carried a crew of 24. The replica of the Pinta was built in Brazil 16 years later. The Pinta was 85’ long and 24’ wide. She carried a crew of 26. Today, the replicas of these famous ships have Diesel engines as well as sails. The modern-day Niña carries a crew of 7 and the modern-day Pinta carries a crew of 9.
One of the most frequently asked questions turned out to be “What about the Santa Maria?” The tour guide told everyone there are no plans to make a replica of the Santa Maria, because that ship never made it back home to Spain. History records that Christopher Columbus was dissatisfied with the Santa Maria, because she was slow and unresponsive...thus, it was hard for her crew to keep the boat moving along with the other two ships. The guide also said that today a replica boat would be too big to enter some of the small ports on their itinerary.
Sarah and the girls really enjoyed seeing the ships. When they returned to the boat, we all started talking about what we remembered about Columbus and looked up information about the ships. Funny how all of us could remember a song we learned in 3rd or 4th grade about “The Niña, the Pinta, the Santa Maria were sailing ship all three”...I must admit I am glad we will be sailing on Exit Only instead of one of Columbus’ ships!
I woke up today and was instantly relieved because my jaw was feeling better. I am feeling bruised, but Tylenol relieves the discomfort. I am grateful the dental “event” is behind me now (except for getting the crowns, of course).
The day started with breakfast, then we started boat school. We are really serious about making school a priority for the girls. We want them to see by our actions that school comes first... Monday through Friday...unless there is a very good reason to change the schedule. We try to start at 0900 (9:00 a.m.) and go until 1100 (11:00 a.m.). We had not done school on Monday and Tuesday this week, because we were very busy doing the last minute jobs getting ready to leave. Then Wednesday turned into “dentist day”, so we were unable to do school that day. Both Z and J like to do schoolwork, and they were happy to get back to it yesterday and today.
Another sign that we are getting ready to leave is most of the big jobs are done, so we can put the tools away and clean up the cockpit. We prefer eating lunch outside at the cockpit table. The other day, I tried to take a selfie with the table in the background. I decided a photo of the table itself tells the story. The table seats 8-10 people. In fact, the people we met while living at the motel (they were working on their sailboat in the boatyard), arrived at A dock on their boat today. We invited the crew of 3 to join us for lunch in our cockpit, so we could catch up on their news.
The last photo shows the marina a couple of days ago when the 30 knot north/northeast wind was blowing. The whitecaps kept rolling in. There was a gale warning posted for the central east coast of Florida. One of the other yachties at the dock told us he heard the radio reporting 17-foot high waves outside the barrier island (the marina is inside the barrier island).
We woke up this morning to fog hanging heavily all around us. We could not see the bridge over the Inter-Coastal Waterway that is close to the marina. Standing in the middle of A dock, looking to the end of the dock, it reminded me of historic times when ships moved out of sight and people back on land thought they had fallen off the edge of the earth. The thirty knot north wind piped up today, too. Always makes getting on and off the boat a challenge. Believe me, we are exceptionally careful doing that!
Sarah and I arrived at the dentist’s office at 1145 (11:45 a.m.). I was called back to an exam room at 1210 (12:10 a.m.). Five minutes later they started preparing my mouth for dental work. I will skip to the end and say that I got up to leave at 1515 (3:15 p.m.)..The experience was as good as anything like that could be, but I was sure glad when it was over.
The office gave me an appointment for 8 April. I am disappointed we have to wait so long, but that seems to be an average wait for crowns. It is what it is. I am glad I was able to see a dentist and get help so quickly. I am also glad this happened here in Florida, instead of somewhere in the Bahamas!
Back on the boat, Baba was helping Dito entertain the girls. The page from J’s daily journal tells the story. The photo of Baba tells how much fun Z and J had with Baba!
We have been in Ft. Pierce long enough to know a lot about the area, but we did not know about dentists. We looked up local dentists on Google and picked one. They opened at 0830 (8:30 a.m.), so we called and asked for an appointment for me. I was told to come in at 1145 (11:45 a.m.). Sarah (the designated driver of the rental car), Dave, and I went to the dentist. I was evaluated and the dentist said I needed a crown on the broken upper tooth...and by the way, the lower tooth directly below the broken tooth had a very old filling that looked unstable. Yes, both teeth needed attention. They told me to come back at 1200 (noon) tomorrow.
In the meantime, Sarah made appointments for herself, Dito, Z, and J to have their teeth cleaned and checked. Dave also made an appointment for a cleaning for himself! All six of us had appointments! Dave, Dito, Z, and J had afternoon appointments today. Sarah will have her appointment when she drives me to my appointment tomorrow!
Later in the afternoon, Dito got in the dinghy with the fish cut-outs and a helper, and started to apply the fish. The were several observers watching each move closely. There...all of the fish are in place. We are very happy with the look of the graphics and like the way the fish show up well across the water. A lot of time and effort went into these graphics, but it was worth the effort!
This day started out with a continuation of the past few days...getting ready to leave. Sarah, Z, J, and I went to Aldi (grocery store) to get fresh fruits and vegetables plus the supplies that go in the frig. This list was very specific...and short. There is just not that much empty room in the frig. All of us like cheese! We cook with it, make sandwiches with it, and snack on it. Cheese was given some prime real estate in the frig!
We provisioned to leave for the first time in July 2018. By now, some of the spices we bought at that time are no longer fresh and colorful. We pulled out our basket of spices from the pantry and went through each bottle. Several needed to be replaced. You can see Sarah and the girls working on that project.
In the next photo, Z did a great job cutting out the last of the fish shapes from special outdoor vinyl material. We designed our own bow graphic. It started with a big yellow fish on both sides of both bows. We all liked the big fish, but the idea soon expanded. We have 6 crew members. What would 6 fish (2 large, 2 medium, and 2 small) look like...hmmmmm. We ordered more vinyl and more fish appeared!
J had a job, too. Sarah and I went through all the school/office supplies once more. I gave all of the pens and a piece of white paper to J and asked her to check each pen by “making a line” on the paper. She sat down and very seriously started drawing a sun with several rays sticking out of it with each pen. I told her the suns were nice, but one little line would be enough!
THEN evening came...as I was brushing my teeth...I lost a filling and part of the tooth! Are you kidding me? I could not believe it! No one could believe it! More about this tomorrow...
First thing every morning, we are all wondering what the grib files look like! Here is Dito checking the gribs out...grib files are continuously updated around the clock.
So far, so good...the good weather is holding, so we can continue to do outdoor boat jobs. There is Dave, down under the cockpit table, putting duct tape around the base of the two pedestals. He is going to seal and protect the wood with layers of epoxy and white paint.
If we really do leave, it is time to face putting our phones “to sleep”. Our goal was to keep our phone numbers. Dave and I have two different phone carriers. We called them both...long story short, it was more expensive than we expected to keep our phone numbers and we still had no phone service. Another long story short, we decided to look into Google Fi. We went to the first Best Buy and found two phones and one SIM card. The we drove an hour to a second Best Buy and found the second SIM card. Now, all 4 adults on sv/Exit Only have phones using the Google Fi phone system. The main feature I like is unlimited texting from 200 countries.
We did not have boat school today, because there are so many little things we are trying to get done “just in case” we leave this week. The kids pitched right in and helped, too!
We always like to leave on a cruise well-prepared in the galley, the salon, the cabins, and we try to do a really good clean-up. Today was the day for shaking the rugs, then laying the rugs out on deck in the sun.
J was in charge of helping her mom bring the rugs from the cabins and the passageways out to the cockpit. Once the rugs were out, Z came along with the sweeper. The attachments that came with the sweeper are super useful for getting into all the nooks and crannies on a boat.
In the afternoon, Sarah, Z, J, and I went to Walmart to get the last items left on our dry goods list. We have been shopping little by little from the dry goods list over the past few days, so the list we had today was fairly short. We are trying to leave with every possible food storage area full. With six people to feed, we will go through the provisions at a steady rate.
The main reason to fill our storage is the fact that although food is available everywhere, it is often significantly more expensive in many of the tourist areas closer to the States. Once we get down island in the Bahamas, there are fewer supplies available because there are fewer people living and traveling there. Having our own supplies makes us self-sufficient. Dito, Z, and J helped move the grocery bags from the car out to the boat.
Today was “fill up the fuel tanks day”. At the marina, we can actually drive the boat over to the fuel dock and fill up with diesel fuel, or...we can use 5-gallon jerry jugs. We chose to use jerry jugs.
Z helped carry the empty jerry jugs from the boat to the fuel dock. Dito used the fuel pump to put 5 gallons of diesel fuel into each jug. Sarah helped Dito put the fuel jugs into a marina cart. Sarah and Dito were able to carry 8 jerry jugs in the cart (a gallon weighs 8.3 pounds, so...a 5 gallon jug weighs 41.5 pounds) and Dito carried another jug in his free hand on the way out to the boat.
Once the two fuel tanks are full, there is another run to the fuel dock to fill the jerry jugs again. When we leave the dock, we will have the full jerry jugs lashed on deck.
We have been looking at the grib files and watching the weather forecast. I have mentioned before that we consider forecasts for 1-3 days ahead pretty reliable. Any forecast longer than that, Dave calls “fantasy weather”. Well, this next week is looking pretty exciting...30 knot gale-force winds coming in mid-week. After that, there may be a possible “weather window” opening for good sailing south. We will be sailing south down toward the Ft. Lauderdale area, before we turn east to the Bahamas. We need to do this to avoid the extremely shallow Bahama Banks that are located almost straight east of Ft. Pierce.
We are in “wait-and-see” mode, but agreed to put our efforts toward being ready to leave by the end of the week if the “weather window” is good. This is how leaving always is...hurry up and wait!
We all know in the course of our lives, medical attention is sometimes needed...medical emergencies happen. Those of you who have been following my blog know we have had medical problems arise and delay our departure to the Bahamas two times now. We have had good medical and dental attention in the States when we needed it. We also want to be prepared if and when medical emergencies happen when we are cruising.
We are fortunate that our crew includes both an M.D. and a P.A. Sarah is a P.A and has extensive experience working in busy hospital E.Rs. She used her own knowledge and experiences, then consulted with several medical coworkers to prepare a list of what should be included in the medical kit for our boat. She has focused mainly on the care of urgent medical conditions when medical care is not available. We also have a good supply of non-emergent medications that might not be readily available. We do have a plentiful supply of bandaids...with both My Little Pony designs and Star Wars designs. Guess who asked for those!
Installation...Yesterday was all about doing the interior antenna work in the navigation station area of the boat, then bringing the antenna wire up through the deck. Today was about taking the long outside piece of the antenna wire up to the top of the mast. It is important to have the antenna reach as high as possible...the higher the antenna, the better the propagation (incoming and outgoing radio traffic).
Of course, this means a trip up the mast! You can see the team assembled on the deck. Dito has put on a bosun’s harness for safety. He is also wearing a safety belt from this harness that goes around the running rigging (a wire from the deck to the top of the mast). Near-by, there is a rigger’s block and tackle attached to a halyard (a lifting line running from the deck to the top of the mast). Dave is standing by the winch located on the base of the mast. The line on that winch is attached to Dito’s harness. Z is standing back from the mast pulling on the line coming from the winch (this is called “tailing”) to keep it from piling up by the mast.
When Dito starts up the mast, he will be controlling the block and tackle as he rises. Dave will be winching the safety line to keep it taut. Z will be gathering the extra line to keep the area around the foot of the mast clear. Going up the mast is never taken lightly. It is never done alone. A support team assembles. Every safety precaution is taken to make the trip up the mast and the trip down again, as safe as possible. Our mast is 52 feet high from the deck to the top. That is quite a trip with a great view! (So they tell me...I have never done it myself...and do not intend to start trying to do it now!)
There was more work to do on setting up the radio antenna today. In photo #1, Dave was using self-amalgamating (sticks to itself) tape to put the top end of the wire antenna around a nylon thimble (shaped like a raindrop). They will tie a line through this thimble to pull the wire antenna up to the top of the mast.
Photo #2 shows Dito in a harness hiking out on the side of the starboard hull. He is there connecting the antenna wire coming from the antenna tuner located near the radios at the navigation station inside of the boat. The wire comes up through a waterproof fitting in the deck. Dito is connecting the end of this line to the antenna wire that goes up the mast.
How does Dito know how to do all of these things? Photo #3 shows y’all the on-site experts who were just outside the view of the camera! The day was overcast and the north wind was blowing a steady 20-25 knots. That is why everyone is dressed for “brisk” weather. A job well done today, but there is a little more work to do tomorrow before this project can be considered “done”!
Dito is already back from Kentucky! He had a late evening flight, so he and Sarah returned to the boat around 0130 (1:30 a.m.) this morning after a 2-hour drive from the airport to the boat. We did try to be quiet and let them sleep in a little longer this morning.
After “boat school” in the morning, the boat jobs continued. Dito updated the labels on the electronic panel. I chose some neon colors for a “rainbow effect”. Dito managed to color code the salon switches, the outside switches, the instrument switches, etc. Then, Dave and Dito turned to the main challenge of the day...to get get the SailMail computer program going. SailMail is a program we purchased. It allows us to use ham radio (Dave is an extra class ham radio operator.) to download grib files.
Grib files are pictures of wind and weather maps that tell us what is going on at the moment and forecasting what will be happening in the next few days. We can get information for any area of the world we are interested in...where we are located or where we are going. We trust the grib files to accurately tell us about the weather for the day and maybe 1-2 more days ahead. This is another BIG clue that we are getting ready to head for the Bahamas...but (most importantly!), we will not leave until the wind and seas and the location of the Gulf Stream are favorable!
Some of our friends are traveling overseas soon. I was telling them about how happy I am with the small charger I have for my iPhone and my minipad. Then, another friend asked me how we were keeping up with charging our electronics while sailing. I thought I would address that issue.
Our daughter had told me about how she uses small powerful chargers whenever and wherever she needed to charge her phone. At the time, I did not feel I needed one. Now, that we are living aboard the boat, I see a real advantage to charging a charger, then carrying it with my phone wherever I go. I can plug my phone or minipad into the charger anytime and anywhere.
The first photo shows both my phone and my minipad being charged by my charger. The other photos show the 12-volt inverter Dave and Dito installed on the boat. We are located at a dock with electricity available to us right now, but once we leave, we rarely go into marinas. We usually anchor out, so we have to be self-sufficient. Even though our phones will be “sleeping” (meaning we cannot make or accept phone calls, texts, etc., but we do keep our phone number), we will still be using our phones almost daily to take photos and play music. That is why we need to keep them fully charged. I also have a fold-up solar charger that is my “backup”. I think back to how we did not have mobile phones and did have only a very basic computer (nothing like today!) when we left on our circumnavigation long ago! Big changes...we certainly did not need a “charging center” back then!
Another busy day! We all have the feeling that we really are getting ready to leave...that this time we really will move away from the dock and head for the Bahamas. Still hard to believe we have already "been there and done that" ...in July 2018 and again in January 2019. I will admit we are not talking about it out loud much this time. We all are into the sorting through the lists, the last minute jobs, doing what needs to be done, etc. We are focused on the future...not the past!
Another BIG clue that we are getting closer to leaving, is provisioning for 6-8 weeks...this was a big shopping trip to purchase dry goods and packaged goods. Our final shopping trip will be for fresh foods and foods that need refrigeration. Y'all can see from the photos that we had lots of help! The third photo is Z in the cockpit bagging the cans of pop for storage. This is a very important job!
When we left on our circumnavigation, we filled a locker (storage area) with loose, stacked pop cans. Our inexperience resulted in one of the biggest messes we ever had to clean up on the boat. Sailing day after day, the motion of the boat caused the aluminum cans to constantly rub against each other. Pinhole leaks appeared in many of the cans (we were not aware this was happening). When we did discover many of the cans had leaked into the locker, we also discovered the multicolored mold growing there. The smell was awful! SO...after cleaning out the locker, we immediately bought plastic trash holders and cut them to fit in the locker. We packed all of the cans in ziplock bags, then put the bags in the plastic containers. This system kept us from having to deal with the curse of the "rainbow mold" ever again!
This day started earlier than usual, because Dito got up around 0600 (6;00 a.m.) to get ready to leave by 0630 (6:30 a.m.) to drive their van back up to Lexington, Kentucky, to put it in storage. This is the first BIG clue that we are getting close to going offshore. Dito will be flying back to Florida on Monday evening. I will be discussing more about getting ready to leave in the next couple of days.
Meanwhile, in Ft. Pierce, Sarah and I needed to pick up our reserved rental car from Enterprise. Turns out they did not have a driver to pick us up today. One of our yachtie friends offered to give us a ride. After a fairly long wait, it was our turn at the counter. After another long wait, we got a car. About two hours later, Enterprise called and asked how our renting experience had gone. We told them it was O.K., but had lasted a little longer than we expected. They gave us money off of our rental for waiting!
You can see what today looks like...foggy with drizzly rain...light wind from the North...cool, not cold. I was surprised when I saw several people aboard the mv/Ft.Pierce Lady (mv = motor vessel...sv = sailing vessel) when it returned to the marina this afternoon. It is a boat that takes people out daily for drift fishing. I wonder how the folks who went out in this sloppy weather enjoyed their fishing today. When you live in the desert, you do not think about rain very often. Living in the tropics, rain happens...often...and life goes on...no big deal.
The weather in the afternoon made it a good time to get cozy with a warm blanket . The junior members of our crew are always mesmerized when they are allowed to watch videos. Just making the best of a dreary day!
This was one eventful day. One thing sort of led to another...first things first, we did school after Sarah made Zoe’s favorite breakfast...fried egg and bacon on toast. Next we had a birthday party! Zoe is going to be 8 years old on 25 March. Sarah decided to celebrate Zoe’s birthday today, because their car is still here for getting the requested ice cream birthday cake (Dito is leaving tomorrow morning to drive the car up to Kentucky to put it in storage). The movie Zoe wanted to see for her birthday is showing now, too. Let the celebrating begin!
After school, we straightened up the boat. Next, we had a pizza birthday lunch. Two friends from another boat joined us and helped eat the birthday cake. Presents suddenly appeared...then, a quick clean-up and it was time to leave for the movie. Dave and I opted out of the movie and stayed on the boat.
In the meantime, Dito and Sarah got a text from Kentucky friends who are vacationing in Florida. They wanted to come by today and see them and the boat. So, after the movie, they met their friends at the marina building and all of them came out to the boat.
In the evening, it was time to focus on getting the van ready to leave. We removed some things from the van that are staying on the boat, and loaded some things from the boat that are going into storage in Lexington. By the time bedtime rolled around, we reflected on a fun day...and we were all ready to call it a night...(J calls it “bednight”...that says it all!)
For a long time, I have been using this blog to tell about all of the boat jobs we are doing...because that is what we really are doing. I am trying to use my blog to tell our story...three generations settling into a 39’ catamaran...getting ready for an ocean adventure. I want my entries to be “interesting”, but I am also committed to “telling it like it is”...like it really is. I decided to take a break today from talking about more boat jobs and tell/show y’all what happens when Baba (Dave) goes shopping.
The other day, Dave and Dito were getting supplies for their projects at Ace Hardware and Home Depot, etc. They happened to go to Walmart for something. They came out of the store with a 6’6” kayak for J and Z! It weighs about 20 pounds and is very buoyant. We already have a 10’ kayak from our previous trip, so now we have one large kayak and one small kayak. Both of the kayaks will set in a chock on deck and be lashed to the stanchions (these are 24” stainless steel posts located around the edge of the 2 hulls). Stanchions support life lines (safety lines) and safety netting. Counting our dinghy on the davits, it looks like we have our own fleet of boats!
Sarah and I have been going through all of the school supplies to make sure we have what we need for the next school year. She has ordered textbooks and workbooks to use next September. We are planning to complete our current school year 1 June. In June, July, and August we plan to have “short school” (my name for it) doing quick review work of what we have done this school year.
We also pulled out all the flags today. I have mentioned before that we are required to fly the flag of our country of registry (Cayman Islands) and the flag of the country we are visiting. We keep the flags rolled up and organized alphabetically in large ziplock bags. We went through and checked that the flags were in good shape (many were flown on our circumnavigation and show some wear) and stored in the correct bag. Z was in charge of putting them in the bags. She counted 87 flags in all (countries, plus others like “diver in the water” flag and a “Q flag” (a yellow flag you fly as your enter a new country to show you are waiting for customs, immigration, and health officers to allow you to officially enter their country).
Dave and Dito decided to tear down the two large winches while they are waiting for the wet places (caused by their efforts to find leaks) to dry out. Tearing down the winches means taking the winch apart and removing the gears, which are then washed in mineral spirits. After the cleaning is done, the gears are greased and reassembled. Both winches are ready to go now...just like new!
The search for the leak continues. The most obvious possible places for a leak have been checked and either silicone or 5200 (caulking compound) has been applied. Now, Dave and Dito have gone to the next level of possibilities that are more complex to check and fix . They are focused today on the genoa track again. This time they have removed part of the track, taped off the area with yellow tape, and put in silicone everywhere it would go.
They also caulked the area in the large cockpit drain area. There are cracks in the gel coat (due to the age of the boat and drying out for years in the Florida sun while in storage) that could possibly be letting water seep through.
They have made progress in stopping the big leaks, but still are not satisfied that they have found the source of the smaller leaks. The search for these leaks has taken a lot more time than we expected. The rest of us spent the day doing inside boat jobs like getting things better organized and stowed...ready for going offshore. Fortunately, the other boat jobs that remain to be done are not big jobs. Having said that, I will add that each of these jobs always seems to take longer to do than we thought it would!
There was a lot going on today, but not too much of it was new or different. As you can see from the photos, we are STILL looking for another leak. They have found and stopped the bigger leaks, but there is still a small amount of water working its way through the boat.The first photo shows the genoa track with the top piece removed. The line (rope) from the genoa comes from the foresail to a movable car on this track, then back to the winch. The angle of the line from the sail is held in one place by the car. They thought the screws holding the track might be the source of a leak, so Dito dramatically poured a controlled "rainstorm" into the track. Dave has a rag and is trying to keep the water away from the porthole below the track. I am watching all this and thinking how grateful I am that this is not one of my jobs!
It was time...past time, really...we declared today "defrost the refrigerator day". We put in a new refrigeration system during the refit. Today was the first time I defrosted with this system. This system freezes a eutectic plate in the back of the frig. Then the compressor cycles off and the plate "holds" the cold. It is working very well. The photos show the frig before, during, and after the defrosting process. The first photo shows the build up of ice that helps the plate hold the cold. This is a 3 month build up. I realized the ice was "pushing" on our containers. (The blue squares in the ice are bags of reusable ice cubes stuck to the plate.). Next time, I will wait 2 to 2 1/2 months, then defrost the frig. The second photo shows Dave spraying hot water on the ice. That maneuver sped the process up quite alot. The third photo shows the defrosted frig restocked and ready to go.
And so it goes...day by day, we are getting it done...
The whole crew is back on EXIT ONLY tonight! David and Sarah brought some of the "stuff" back to the boat from the motel last night. This morning we packed up the rest of the "stuff", loaded the car, and left the motel. It was Saturday Market Day, so we had to wait a couple of hours before we could get a parking place close to the marina. What to do? We went to buy a propane tank! We carry a 30-pound tank already, so when that tank is empty, the new 10-pound tank will keep the stove/oven going until we can find a place to refill the larger tank.
Dito and Dave crossed more items off the boat jobs list. In the photos, Dave is sorting through a collection of screws to find the right size for Dito to use to mount the new winch handle holder. Under way, we keep a handle handy on each side of the cockpit near both winches. The lines (ropes) from the foresail (front sail) come back to wrap around the winch so we can haul in (tighten) the sail. The winch handle is inserted into the top of the winch to give leverage and make it easier to haul in our 500 square foot genoa (the foresail). More jobs to be done, but we are getting there!
This was a memorable day! Dave made it onto the boat for the first time in two months! Dito took Dave to his physical therapy appointment. This physical therapy session turned out better than we hoped for. Dave showed the therapist photos of the boat and discussed the "up and down" challenges from getting on and off the boat to maneuvering from one hull to the other. She took him to a set of stairs and started showing him how to approach and board the boat, etc. She showed him exercises for strengthening his leg muscles as well as smoothing out his gait. She thought he was doing well today. Dave is going to do five more physical therapy sessions next week.
We are encouraged! We are actually making lists of what we want/need to do before we leave for the Bahamas! Stay tuned!
Now we have a new situation! We can hardly keep Dave from walking! After sitting in a wheelchair for almost eight weeks, the doctor said he could do whatever he was comfortable doing. Well... Dave started walking! He was carrying his crutches in case he needed them, and walking around part of the motel parking lot. He did 10 rounds, then went inside our room to rest for an hour. He repeated this routine several times.
I was in the room in the afternoon and the door was open. The motel owner was walking by. He knocked on the door and very kindly said, "You must tell him to slow down. He is doing too much too soon!" Dave has an appointment with physical therapy at 1400 (2:00 p.m.) today. We are looking forward to hearing their plan.
The two strange looking photos show the duct tape channels Dito created to isolate areas of the cockpit floor that might be the origin(s) of the leaks he is looking for. He found one leak today and will do more testing tomorrow.
Dave saw the doctor this morning and received a very good report. The doctor read Dave's x-ray and said the fracture was aligned correctly and there was definite evidence of healing. He said Dave could go to full weight bearing (or whatever he is comfortable with). Dave was ready to get out of the wheelchair and immediately started using his crutches for "a little" support instead. He and Dito came to the marina, so we could see Dave walking on the dock and so Dave could see the boat. He did not try to board the boat today.
Now that Dave is walking again, the doctor arranged for him to go to physical therapy. His first appointment is Friday at 1400 (2:00 p.m.). We will find out then what program and timeline the therapists have in mind. We are all so pleased that the past eight weeks are behind us and now we can start thinking about the Bahamas again. We celebrated by going to Vero Beach. We ate lunch at a favorite Greek restaurant and enjoyed dessert at Abbott’s Custard. No, there was no discount if your name was Abbott...we asked!
Leaving the motel to go to the boat this morning, I was surrounded by fog. The cooler weather was starting to reach down into Florida today! The first photo was taken from A dock.
When I arrived at the boat about 0850 (8:50 a.m.), the girls were so excited and started saying, "It is your birthday, Gaga!". Having no clue about what was going on, I told them one birthday each year was enough! There was a big surprise waiting for me in a medium-sized box (decorated by Z and J). Sarah ordered a new 12-volt vacuum cleaner for the boat! It is very fancy and comes with an attachment for every cleaning challenge. There are a lot of nooks and crannies in a boat, but this vacuum cleaner will be able to clean them all. What a nice surprise!
Dave goes to the doctor tomorrow morning. We are anxious to see what happens next!
When I went to the boat for school this morning, the sun was shining through the clouds, but we all know a cool down is coming in the next 24 hours. The sky seemed to be trying to demonstrate to anyone who was paying attention, that things "up there" were in transition, too. "Change" was in the air!
After school finished, J brought out her substantial collection of miniature My Little Pony unicorns. Z got out her magnet tiles. Quickly, the tiles turned into stalls for all the ponies/unicorns. The magnets are great toys for a boat because they encourage creativity, do not get easily lost, and are stored in a small space.
My cousin, Mary Arlene, popped in at the motel to see us in the afternoon. She lives about a 40-45 minute drive from here. We enjoyed the visit!
P.S. The small leak is still there! The search continues...
Sarah and the girls came over to the motel to swim after lunch. We were all out at the pool for awhile. A couple we had spoken to in passing at the pool a few days ago was there today, too. The lady spoke to Z and J, then the man spoke to them. He turned to me and said, "This girl just told me she lives on a sailboat. Is that true?" Long story short, he and his wife are here getting their sailboat ready to go cruising. We had fun talking with them.
I spent the evening turning those recycled workbook page pictures I cut out long ago into flashcards. J is working hard on phonics and word families. She is reading more words everyday.
Dito is still looking for the source of the small leak that keeps taunting him with a puddle in the bilge. He and Dave are determined to stop that leak!
The third photo is a flashback from our circumnavigation. Dave found it in some old photo files today. That is me on EXIT ONLY anchored off the Pitons on the island of St. Lucia in the Caribbean (2005).
It is the weekend again already! Ran errands to several places in town this morning while I had the car.
Dave and I had Wendy's for lunch in the motel room while the rest of the crew ate on the boat today. My egret friend was standing in the shade of the hamburger sign by the drive-through line.
Dito is still searching for the water leaks and was at it all day. He needed Sarah's help, so after lunch I drove to the marina and picked up Z and J. I brought them back to the motel so they could go swimming. Dave and I were enjoying the sunny day out by the pool, too. We were helping Z perfect her new surface dive and J was diving down for rockets. Dave was rating their efforts by how many M&M's that dive was worth. You can see by the photo that they both did well! They also got to watch TV. Since we do not have a TV on the boat, they really enjoyed that! They stayed for supper with us, because Dito and Sarah searched for leaks into the evening. They did find one small leak, but there seems to be another one. Better to find it now and be done with it!
Dave moved into the motel two weeks ago today. He is feeling good...he is certainly well-fed, thanks to his personal "meals on blue wagon wheels" lunch service, (we cook on the boat, pack the food up, and then, all of us eat lunch with Dave at the motel) and he does not have time to feel lonely! His hotel room has really good wifi...so...In the first photo y'all see Dave and Sarah were discussing moving articles and photos from one device to the another. In the background, Dito was editing video for posting on maxingoutforlife (Instagram and Facebook). I was working on my blog entry before I took the photo.
After lunch, the girls tried using their boogie boards as kickboards in the pool. After awhile, J decided she could dive for the weighted rockets in deeper water. The weather has been warmer, so the water is a tad warmer. I supervise from poolside. The water is still not warm enough for me!